Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login

The demographics almost precisely match the classic car hobby or woodworking in that if you buy a $200 graphics card 5 years ago, today you have a paperweight sitting in a landfill and your net worth is $200 lower. Therefore "computer people" are somewhat egalitarian, a 65+ white guy probably spent the same amount of money on his macbook as a 22 year old black woman.

Ham radio or classic cars or woodworking are different. You can safely assume an old guy will have a fabulous workshop in the years before death. I inherited a nice 1960s craftsman drill press and it works perfectly and looks stylish in a retro manner and when I'm 65 people will be subject to google image search pix of my shop. No 25 year old kid is proud of his workshop unless he's trust fund rich or there's a weird back story. My electronics lab is about the same as is my ham radio gear.

There is also a side dish of all computer people are noobs, almost all of them, who will leave the field in a couple years either fed up or ageism'd out or they were only in it for the $$$ or maybe its just a hobby that doesn't appeal to most people for more than five or so years. Whereas you have hams or woodworkers or car nuts who've been into one hobby from age 12 till 82 and 70 years of growth in skill and equipment will result in some impressive internet pix of some 82 yr old dude's shop.

Likewise if selection pressures mean you're only going to see old peoples workshops, the demographics are going to look very much like a college EE class from say 1965, because that's who's workshop you're looking at. Its highly likely that in 50 years you'll see old people workshops online that match the gender and racial demographics of the MSEE graduating class of 2016, but you're going to have to wait 50 years to see todays freshly minted MSEE's as old people.

Finally I'll admit my workshop is not terribly well organized, or could be improved, and there's that selection pressure that I'm not going to post a pix of my table saw with pieces of wood stacked on the table or sawdust shavings all over my router table. What you see online is staged and unusual and artificial, much as very few houses in the real world look like the pix in a "Better Homes and Gardens" magazine. And that staging taking piles of cash and time mean you're mostly seeing old people stuff. Even if most of the world in reality isn't old people stuff, most of the pictures certainly are.




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: